Starstuff

Portraits of brilliant and illuminating people.

Mary Oliver

A Luminous Doom

Imagine only discovering Mary Oliver's poems when you're in your 40s! How much more wonder the world must hold that I know not yet of!


One of my favorite Mary Oliver poems:

Sleeping In The Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.